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Demand Letter

What Is a Demand Letter?

In many cases, a demand letter is the first step in the legal process before beginning a lawsuit. Parties can demand funds or indicate specific actions that other parties should take to avoid further legal action.

However, demand letters do not always end in court cases. It may actually be an effective way to resolve a dispute before it escalates and ends up in court.

What Does a Demand Letter Include?

Demand letters outline several items, including, but not limited to:

  • A History of the Situation: Your letter outlines and provides some background of the dispute to illustrate how it got to the current point. This may include information about business or personal history, as well as information about any previous steps you took to resolve the dispute.
  • Details of the Damages: The letter should make clear the damages you seek and outline how the other party bears responsibility for them.
  • Desired Resolution: State the exact resolution you desire to avoid further legal action.
  • A Deadline: Indicate a date by which the recipient should comply with your resolution.
  • Your Intended Course of Action: You must make your intentions clear. What do you plan to do next if the other party does not meet your demands by the date provided? 
  • Accident Information: If your letter seeks compensation for an accident, you also need to include the details of the accident, details of your injuries, the medical treatment received and details about medical bills and lost income.

Your attorney takes care of these factors. They’ll also make sure that you include any other pertinent information in your demand letter.

What Happens After You Send the Letter?

There is no way to predict the other party’s response to your demand letter. They may comply with your demands, or they may instead present their own a counter-offer. However, the other party may also refuse your claims or ignore your letter altogether.

Your attorney can help you understand the other party’s actions and aid you in planning your next steps.

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Why Should You Use a Demand Letter?

A demand letter is a relatively simple and low-cost way to get the result you need before escalating the situation. While not necessarily required by law, such letters are widely used in many cases every day. Because lawsuits are time-consuming and costly for everyone involved, a demand letter can work for all parties involved.

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Why Should You Work With an Attorney to Send a Demand Letter?

The concept of a demand letter is simple. However, an attorney can create a concise legal document that includes every necessary detail to help you get the result you desire.

A demand letter sent from an attorney also goes to show just how serious you are about the situation. If you simply send emails indicating how you feel and stating that you may take further action, you likely are not motivating the other party to comply with your demands.

On the other hand, when you put in the time and effort to hire an attorney who can draft the demand letter for you, the other party can understand just how serious you are about your requests. The potential lawsuit becomes much more of a reality, and the other party needs to seriously consider their next move.

Protect Yourself

Your attorney knows how to phrase each letter component to get the right message across without making threats or coming across as unfair. This often happens to individuals who send a demand letter without legal counsel. A legal advocate can also ensure that your letter complies with all the latest state and federal regulations.

If Your Case Goes to Court

If your case escalates into a court proceeding, you may find that the court has a favorable view of your demand letter. Such a document drafted by an attorney shows the court that you took reasonable and calculated steps in an attempt to avoid a lawsuit and resolve the dispute amicably.

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